Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and metals
company with 71,000 people working in more than 40
countries across six continents, including some of
the most difficult terrains and climates. In 2008
the decision was taken to design an enterprise-wide
risk management process and to embed this into all
parts of the business.


Rio Tinto


Active Risk Manager (ARM) was selected as the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) system to enable the global risk management process.


As part of its global rollout, Rio Tinto selected its Iron Ore business in Australia for the pilot implementation of ARM as it had a mature risk process and an experienced team. Iron Ore operations in Australia include an integrated network of mines, rail, ports and related infrastructure.


With more than 50 active risk registers for projects at various phases and an estimated 100 in total to develop and maintain to support the global Iron Ore business, there was no easy way to automate the aggregation of risk data from projects to program level. The preparation of risk registers and reports took around 3-5 working days per risk review. It was also challenging to provide effective version control and data integrity of the multiple risk spreadsheets around the business.


The pilot was then expanded beyond Australian projects to cover Rio Tinto’s global Iron Ore business which has over 13,000 employees. ARM is now also used for Pilbara operations corporate functions such as Sales & Marketing, CFO, Health & Safety and the CIO and in overseas businesses in Asia, Canada and Africa.


ARM became the single repository for projects and enterprise risks for the Iron Ore business in Australia, improving security, auditability and version management. CWS was used to facilitate the collection of risk data via workshops with the frontline teams who have the best understanding of the real risks faced.


Standard information, such as risk scoring schemes and categories, was downloaded to CWS, enabling risk workshops to be run offline in the field, utilizing the specially designed easy input and display features. Data collected was later reloaded into the central ARM repository to maintain consistency. This created a consolidated picture of both individual and project’s risks, and made analysis across projects and at program level much simpler via one accessible system.


ARM supports the different risk information needs of the diverse operations across Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore business. These requirements change through project phases and at different points in the business year.


ARM allows the interrogation of risks across risk registers and projects using a variety of criteria. Over-arching ‘risk themes’, such as water management, can be identified and analysed at various levels and from different perspectives, so that decisions can be made on the best possible understanding of the overall risk picture. Themes can emerge bottomup or top-down in support of corporate strategy.


Future plans include enhanced reporting and analytics to support risk-based planning and an improved interface with Audit/assurance activities.


Rio Tinto is continuing to roll out ARM globally in support of its risk management program.

Rio Tinto Case Study

Rio Tinto Case Study

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